Cloth Diaper Covers – A Comprehensive Guide

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We live in a world where information is literally at our fingertips. The freedom to explore countless topics, dive into numerous research articles, and learn about anything and everything is a fascinating advantage of our digital age. It’s fascinating how the simplest of concepts can have the most profound impact on our lives.

One such topic that’s been making quite a splash recently is, of all things, diapers. Yes, those seemingly mundane essentials for every individual who cares for a child. But not just any diapers, I’m talking about cloth diapers and, more specifically, cloth diaper covers.

A Brief Overview of Cloth Diapers

For those not quite familiar, cloth diapers are just as they sound—diapers made from absorbent fabrics that can be washed and reused. This is starkly different from the disposable diapers that are commonly found in every grocery store aisle and online marketplace. Though it might seem like an old-fashioned concept, modern innovations and a rising trend toward sustainable living have brought cloth diapers back into the spotlight.

Why the Sudden Interest in Cloth Diapers

Today, countless people are discovering the numerous advantages that cloth diapers can offer, not just for their little ones but also for their wallets and, believe it or not, the environment. Think about it, if one child uses an average of 8,000 diapers from birth to toilet training, imagine the impact millions of children can have. It’s a staggering thought, right?

Clarifying the Purpose of Cloth Diaper Covers

Cloth diapers may not be a novelty concept for many, but the term ‘cloth diaper covers’ could still be new to some. That’s what we’ll be focusing on in this guide. As a side note, I remember the first time I heard about diaper covers. My initial reaction was, “Really? There’s a cover for the diaper?” Ah, how little I knew back then.


Hopefully, this introduction has tickled your curiosity. There’s much more to uncover about the world of cloth diapers and their covers in the sections to follow. So let’s dive in, shall we?

The Basics of Cloth Diaper Covers

Understanding the why behind any decision is equally as important as the how. Now that we’ve covered why they have gained popularity, let’s get into the how. What exactly are these magical covers, and how do they work?

What is a Cloth Diaper Cover

Cloth diaper covers, simply put, are the protective outer layer used over a cloth diaper. Their primary function is to prevent any leakage from the diaper onto the baby’s clothes or surrounding surfaces. In the most basic sense, they are the shields, the knights in shining (or should I say, colorful) armor safeguarding against any accidents that might occur.

You’d be surprised at how simple yet effective they are. By giving that extra layer of protection, they make life easier for anyone caring for a baby, which, let’s face it, can sometimes feel like a walk in the park… except the park is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire because, well, babies.

The Materials Used For Cloth Diaper Covers

The effectiveness of a cloth diaper cover comes down to the materials used. Some of the most common materials you’ll find include PUL (Polyurethane Laminate), TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), fleece, and wool.

Each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. PUL and TPU are waterproof, which is fantastic for containment, but they lack breathability. On the other hand, wool and fleece allow airflow, which is great for your baby’s skin, but they are not as foolproof in preventing leaks.

Various Types and Styles of Cloth Diaper Covers

The world of cloth diaper covers is a colorful one—literally. They come in all sorts of colors, patterns, and designs. Some even have extra features like double-leg gussets for better leak protection or adjustable snap settings for a custom fit as your baby grows. It’s like a fashion show with every diaper change!

But it’s not all about appearances. There are different types of covers, such as pull-ups, wraps, or pocket style. The choice depends on your personal preferences, the specific needs of your child, and let’s not forget, the laundry situation.

How to Size and Fit a Cloth Diaper Cover

Ensuring a proper fit is critical for both comfort and leak prevention. They generally come in sizes ranging from newborn to toddler, but some brands offer “one-size” options with adjustable snaps or hook and loop closures to grow with your child.

The goal is to achieve a snug fit around the waist and thighs without it being too tight or restrictive. But beware, an improperly fitted cover could lead to what we in the cloth diaper world call “blowouts” — a term you don’t want to learn from firsthand experience. Trust me on this one.


And there you have it. The basic principles of cloth diaper covers—what they are, what they’re made of, how they look, and how to ensure they fit correctly. It’s a lot of information to take in, but don’t worry. As with anything new, it gets easier with time and practice. Plus, there’s a whole community of cloth diaper users out there ready to help you navigate this colorful new world.

The Importance of Cloth Diaper Covers

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive a bit deeper. Let’s investigate why they are not merely a luxury, but a necessity, and how they can positively impact not only your child’s comfort but also your lifestyle and, believe it or not, the planet.

Protecting Your Child’s Sensitive Skin

One of the most compelling reasons for choosing cloth diaper covers is the protection they offer to your child’s delicate skin. We all know how sensitive a baby’s skin can be, and conventional disposable diapers can sometimes lead to rashes and irritation.

Cloth diaper covers, especially those made from natural materials like wool or cotton, allow for better air circulation. This prevents excessive moisture buildup, a common culprit behind diaper rashes. No one likes an unhappy baby, and a comfortable baby equals a peaceful household. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

Preventing Diaper Leaks and Messes

Let’s talk about one of the not-so-pleasant aspects of childcare — dealing with messes. Believe me, it’s a topic every new parent or caregiver becomes well acquainted with. And when it comes to diapers, leaks are pretty much enemy number one.

This is where cloth diaper covers come into play. They add an extra line of defense against leaks, keeping everything in check and saving you from a potential laundry nightmare. I remember a friend telling me about a leak incident at a family gathering that could have been disastrous if not for the cloth diaper cover. Since that day, she swore by them and never looked back.

Preserving the Environment

Last, but certainly not least, they are kind to Mother Nature. It’s no secret that disposable diapers contribute to significant landfill waste. Switching to cloth diapers, with the help of covers, reduces this impact.

Every small step towards more sustainable practices counts. And if we can do something beneficial for the environment while caring for our children, it’s a win-win. This might seem like a drop in the ocean, but remember, even the ocean is made up of tiny drops.

In summary, the benefits of cloth diaper covers are manifold. They protect your baby’s skin, save you from potential messes, and contribute to preserving the environment. It’s not just about changing diapers; it’s about making a change for the better. And isn’t that a change worth making?

Making the Switch – Transition from Disposable Diapers to Cloth

So now, armed with some knowledge about cloth diapers and their benefits, you might be contemplating making the switch. However, a decision like this usually brings with it a swirl of questions. Will it really be worth it? Won’t it be too much work? Let’s address these concerns and make the transition as smooth as possible.

Cost Comparison Between Cloth Diapers and Disposables

One of the first things that probably comes to mind when considering cloth diapers is the cost. Sure, cloth diapers do require an initial investment, especially when you add in the diaper covers and other accessories. However, over time, cloth diapers can actually turn out to be less expensive than disposables.

Don’t take my word for it; let’s crunch some numbers. A quick online search reveals that the average cost of disposable diapers for their first year of life is around 2000 to 3000. In contrast, a decent stash of cloth diapers can range from 300 to 800, including the cost of diaper covers, wet bags, and liners. Plus, they can be reused for subsequent children, further increasing the savings.

Long-Term Benefits of Using Cloth Diapers

Beyond the financial aspect, there are other long-term benefits to consider. As we previously discussed, cloth diapers are more gentle on your baby’s skin and significantly reduce the risk of diaper rash. And as the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”

Moreover, you’ll no longer have the constant worry of running out of diapers or last-minute store runs. Once you have your set of cloth diapers, you’re ready to go. Just wash, dry, and reuse. Simple as that.

How to Manage the Laundry Workload

I can almost hear you saying, “But what about all the extra laundry?” Yes, using cloth diapers does mean additional laundry. However, with a well-planned washing routine and a little organization, this can be managed quite effectively.

A tip I picked up from a friend was to do a load of diaper laundry every other day. This way, you never run out of clean diapers and avoid the accumulation of dirty ones. Plus, modern washing machines with their various wash cycle options make this task much easier than you’d imagine.

Dispelling Common Myths about Cloth Diapers

Now, let’s debunk a few myths about cloth diapers. No, they are not unsanitary if properly washed and cared for. No, they don’t necessarily cause more diaper rash—in fact, quite the opposite. No, using them isn’t equivalent to signing up for a lifetime of laundry.

Like any change, transitioning from disposable diapers to cloth might seem daunting initially. However, with some time and patience, you might find that the benefits far outweigh the challenges. After all, embracing change can lead to unexpectedly beautiful outcomes. Just remember the first time you held your baby—daunting, but oh so worth it!

Your Guide to Purchasing Cloth Diaper Covers

Embracing the idea of cloth diaper covers and making the choice to include them in your diapering routine is just the first step. The next step is knowing how to purchase these diaper covers — what factors to consider, which brands to trust, and how to invest wisely.

Tips for Choosing the Best Cloth Diaper Covers

There’s a seemingly endless array of cloth diaper covers available in the market today. Choosing the best ones may seem overwhelming, but keeping a few key factors in mind can simplify the process.

First, always prioritize your baby’s comfort. Look for covers made from soft, breathable fabrics. Check for any rough seams or edges that might irritate your baby’s skin.

Next, consider the effectiveness of the cover. Look for features like double-leg gussets or adjustable waistbands that ensure a good fit and prevent leaks.

Finally, consider the ease of use and care. Covers that are machine washable and easy to put on and take off can be a lifesaver during those busy days or middle-of-the-night changes.

Factors to Consider When Buying Cloth Diaper Covers

When buying cloth diaper covers, the factors you should consider are similar to those for cloth diapers. These include the type of material, the size and adjustability, the ease of washing and drying, and the price.

The material is crucial, as it determines both the comfort and the leak-proof ability of the diaper cover. Size and adjustability are also significant, particularly if you want the covers to grow with your child. The ease of care is another important consideration because, let’s face it, who needs more complicated laundry?

Top-Rated Brands to Consider

While I’m not in the business of endorsing specific brands, I do believe in sharing information that might help others. Some brands consistently receive high praise from users for their quality, durability, and design. These include Thirsties, Blueberry Coveralls, and Rumparooz by KangaCare. Do some research, read reviews, and make an informed choice based on your specific needs and preferences.

Money-Saving Strategies When Investing in Cloth Diaper Covers

Investing in cloth diaper covers need not break the bank. There are various ways you can save money. For example, buying in bulk or opting for value packs can often be more economical. Additionally, some online marketplaces offer discounts or deals, especially during holidays or special events.

Moreover, remember that cloth diaper covers can be reused for subsequent children, making them an investment that keeps on giving. Also, well-maintained covers can have resale value, meaning you can recoup a part of your initial investment when you no longer need them.


Purchasing cloth diaper covers is not as daunting as it first appears. With a clear understanding of your needs, some research, and smart shopping strategies, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this aspect of cloth diapering. Remember, every great journey begins with a single step. Or in this case, a single diaper cover.

How to Properly Use and Care for Cloth Diaper Covers

So you’ve made the decision, conducted the research, and purchased your first batch of cloth diaper covers. Congratulations! You’re now on the path of sustainable, skin-friendly, and economical diapering. However, to ensure these cloth diaper covers last and perform their job effectively, they need to be used and cared for correctly.

How to Use Cloth Diaper Covers

Using cloth diaper covers is relatively straightforward. First, you put the cloth diaper on your baby as you normally would. Then, you place the cover over the cloth diaper, ensuring it fits well around the waist and thighs but isn’t too tight.

The key is to make sure the entire cloth diaper, including the edges, is tucked inside the cover to prevent leaks. Kind of like how we make sure all the filling is inside a sandwich before we take a bite. Yes, diapering can make you think of the weirdest analogies.

Washing and Drying Cloth Diaper Covers

Now, let’s talk about washing and drying the covers. This is where many people have doubts and misconceptions. However, with a little bit of knowledge, it’s not that complicated.

Cloth diaper covers should be washed after every use. You can do this by hand or in a washing machine, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, a mild, fragrance-free detergent is best.

As for drying, it’s usually recommended to air dry the covers to prolong their lifespan. However, some materials, such as PUL and TPU, can be tumble-dried on low heat.

Just remember, improper washing and drying can damage the diaper covers and reduce their efficiency. So always follow the care instructions carefully.

Troubleshooting Common Problems with Cloth Diaper Covers

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might encounter some problems with your cloth diaper covers. Don’t worry; it’s a common part of the journey. The trick is to know how to troubleshoot these issues.

For instance, if you’re noticing leaks, it could be because the cover isn’t fitted properly, the cloth diaper isn’t fully tucked in, or the cover material has lost its waterproofing. Checking the fit, ensuring the diaper is properly placed, and testing the waterproofing can help identify and fix the problem.

Storing and Reusing Cloth Diaper Covers

When it comes to storing the covers, a simple, clean, dry container will do. Avoid storing them in sealed plastic bags or containers as this can trap moisture and lead to mold or mildew.

As for reusing the covers, yes, it’s possible! Cloth diaper covers can be used for multiple children, as long as they’re still in good condition. Just ensure they’re thoroughly cleaned before storing them away for future use.

Remember, your cloth diaper covers are your allies in this journey towards eco-friendly, cost-effective, and skin-friendly diapering. Treat them well, and they’ll serve you well in return. Happy diapering!

How Often Should You Change Cloth Diaper Covers

An important question often raised by those new to cloth diapering is how frequently the covers should be changed. The answer to this largely depends on the specific situation, but a general rule of thumb is to change the cover whenever it’s soiled or wet.

In a perfect scenario, if the cloth diaper inside does its job well, you might find that the cover is dry and clean even after a few hours. In such cases, you can simply replace the cloth diaper and continue using the same cover. However, if the cover is wet or soiled, it should be changed immediately.

Remember, while it might be tempting to use the same cover for a longer duration to reduce laundry, the comfort and hygiene of your little one is paramount. Regular changing helps prevent skin irritation and ensures your baby stays comfortable and happy.

What to Do with Damaged or Worn-Out Cloth Diaper Covers

After several months or even years of regular use, it’s natural for your cloth diaper covers to show signs of wear and tear. They may lose their waterproofing, show visible damage, or simply not fit as well as they used to. So, what should you do when your trusty diaper covers reach the end of their lifespan?

Firstly, you can try to repair minor damages. Small tears can be mended, and snap buttons can be replaced. However, remember that the cover needs to maintain its function of preventing leaks. If this isn’t possible, it might be time to retire the cover.

When a cloth diaper cover is beyond repair, you have a few options. Some families choose to repurpose them, such as using them as cleaning rags or storage bags. Alternatively, you can look into recycling programs for textiles in your local community.

It’s important to note, however, that worn-out or damaged cloth diaper covers should not be used for their original purpose. A faulty cover can lead to leaks and cause more problems than it solves. When in doubt, it’s best to replace it with a new one.


Life with cloth diaper covers is a journey of learning and adapting. As with any journey, there can be some bumps along the way, but with the right knowledge and approach, it’s a rewarding experience. And remember, the ultimate aim is the comfort and well-being of your baby, a goal that makes all the effort worthwhile.


As we reach the end of this comprehensive guide, you’re now well-versed in the world of cloth diaper covers — from their importance and how to make the switch, to purchasing guides and proper usage and care. But let’s recap some of the most significant points before we wrap up.

Reaffirming the Benefits of Cloth Diaper Covers

Cloth diaper covers are more than just a diapering accessory. They’re a protective layer that shields your baby’s delicate skin, an effective tool in your battle against diaper leaks, and an eco-friendly choice that lessens the burden on our planet. Remember, every small change we make in our lives echoes into the future, affecting not just us, but also generations to come.

Making the Change with Confidence

Transitioning from disposable diapers to cloth is a significant decision, one that comes with both challenges and rewards. The key is to approach it with patience and understanding. The initial hiccups and extra laundry loads might seem daunting, but with time, the comfort of your child and the substantial cost savings will make it all worthwhile.

Effective Usage and Care Prolong Life of Cloth Diaper Covers

Like any investment, cloth diaper covers need care and attention to ensure they serve you well for a long time. Correct usage, proper washing and drying, regular checks for damage or wear, and correct storage methods will all contribute to a longer life for your cloth diaper covers. So treat them well, and they’ll return the favor.

Final Words of Encouragement

As you embark on this journey, remember, you’re not alone. Many parents and caregivers have walked this path before you and have reaped the benefits. Don’t be daunted by the magnitude of change. Instead, embrace it. In doing so, you’re taking a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle, helping protect your child’s skin from harsh chemicals, and saving your hard-earned money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How Many Cloth Diaper Covers Do I Need?

The exact number of cloth diaper covers you need depends on factors like your baby’s age, how often your baby soils diapers, and how often you want to do laundry. That being said, a general rule of thumb is to have at least one cover for every three cloth diapers. So, if you’re planning on full-time cloth diapering and doing laundry every other day, anywhere from 6-8 covers should suffice.

2. Can I Use Cloth Diaper Covers with Disposables?

Yes, cloth diaper covers can be used with disposable diapers as an added layer of protection against leaks. However, it’s essential to make sure the cover doesn’t squeeze the disposable diaper too tightly, which could hinder its absorbency.

3. Why Are My Cloth Diaper Covers Leaking?

If your cloth diaper covers are leaking, it could be due to a few reasons. The cover might not be fitting correctly, the cloth diaper inside might not be fully tucked in, or the cover might have lost its waterproofing. Always ensure a good fit, check the positioning of the cloth diaper, and periodically test your covers for waterproofing to prevent leaks.

4. Can Cloth Diaper Covers Go in the Dryer?

The answer to this depends on the material of the cover. While some materials like PUL and TPU can handle low heat tumble drying, it’s always safer to air dry your covers to prolong their lifespan. Always check and follow the manufacturer’s care instructions.

5. Do I Need to Change the Cloth Diaper Cover at Every Change?

Not necessarily. If the cloth diaper cover is dry and clean, it can be reused with a fresh cloth diaper. However, if it’s soiled or wet, it should be changed.

6. What type of cloth diaper works best with cloth diaper covers?

Cloth diaper covers can be used with most types of cloth diapers, including flats, prefolds, fitteds, and contours.

7. Can cloth diaper covers be used at night?

Yes. Many parents use cloth diaper covers at night to provide extra leak protection. Just ensure your chosen absorbent layer is sufficient to last through the night.

8. Are cloth diaper covers bulky?

This depends on the type of cloth diaper you’re using underneath the cover. Some combinations can be bulkier than others. However, this usually doesn’t hinder your baby’s movement or comfort.

9. Can I use diaper cream with cloth diaper covers?

Yes, but be cautious as some diaper creams can build up on cloth diapers and covers, reducing their absorbency and effectiveness. It’s best to use cloth-safe diaper creams or use a liner to protect your diapers and covers.

10. How do I remove stains from cloth diaper covers?

You can pre-treat stains with a mild, cloth-safe stain remover before washing. Exposure to sunlight is also a natural and effective way to remove stains.

11. Can cloth diaper covers be used for swimming?

No. Cloth diaper covers aren’t designed to keep in water, so they won’t work as swim diapers.

12. How can I repair a torn cloth diaper cover?

Minor tears in cloth diaper covers can often be repaired with a patch of fabric and a waterproof adhesive. However, significant damage may require replacement of the cover.

13. Do you have any other eco-friendly articles?

Yes we do!  You should check out our article on Bamboo Baby Pajamas.  We also have more articles released weekly, so keep checking back for more!

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Anabel Nettles

Join me on this engaging blog, where I'll explore the latest trends, innovations, and must-have baby items. Together, we'll navigate the vast world of baby products, uncover hidden gems, and make parenthood an even more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

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